February 8th Meeting: Understanding Swarms

As I write this announcement I am looking out the window at a forested mountainside and see that the buds on the soft maples are beginning to swell and turn red.  As difficult as this winter has been, spring is just around the corner and before long we will all have our hands full working our hives.

Continuing our objective to cover essential colony management topics this winter and early spring, this meeting will focus on understanding swarms. Swarming has become one of the main spring topics on the Hive message boards and a major source of frustration for many of us. A quick search on the internet yields a multitude of techniques for preventing swarms including the Pagdon, Heddon, Snelgrove, Demaree, Double Screen, and Checkerboard methods and that is just the tip of the iceberg.  Rather than a mind-numbing discussion on all these methods, this presentation will cover why colonies swarm, how the process occurs, how to recognize a colony in danger of swarming, and why it is important to prevent swarms.  Finally we will discuss what does and what does not work to stop or prevent swarms.

This talk will be aimed at beginning beekeepers, but should provide some fresh ideas for even advanced members.

-Fred Jones, NRVBA President.

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 8th February 2018 at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg .

NRVBA February 2018 Meeting Agenda

  1. What you should be doing with your bees
  2. Discussion of Winter Losses
  3. Business
    • Association queen purchase
    • Committee for NRVBA logo and t-shirt design
    • Committee for development of mentoring program
  4. Fred’s Follies: A brief recap of January’s requeening program
  5. Main Topic … “Swarms: What can go wrong when everything goes right”
  6. Raffle:Note, there will be no intermission. Buy your tickets before the meeting or, quietly, any time during the meeting in the back of the room. Items will include:
    • 10 deep frames w/ plasticell foundation (unassembled)
    • 1-10 frame deep (unassembled)
    • 1-10 frame medium (unassembled)
    • 7 between frame beetle traps
    • 1-10 frame plastic hive top feeder
  7. Close of formal meeting. This will be a time for refreshments, questions and  socializing. Please consider bringing something to eat or drink.



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